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Unfair NASCAR rule change will motivate Toyota to destroy Chevy, Ford and DodgeUPDATE #2 Just minutes before the start of Sunday's Allstate 400, Lee White was standing at the vast bay window overlooking pit road from four stories up, the warm summer sunshine bathing what would soon become a scene of chaos. But was White, Toyota's racing boss, worried about the looming tire fiasco in one of NASCAR's biggest races? Nope. That was out of his hands.
What he was jawing about was something quite different -- NASCAR's newest rules change (in a season that has seen almost none) that is aimed at slowing the Toyota charge on the Nationwide series. Toyota is dominating that racing.
Toyota has won 15 of the year's 22 Nationwide races, in an awesome display. "Hard work," White would describe it. "More horsepower," his beleaguered rivals would complain.
"I'm not complaining, I'm upset," White said. "They penalized us from best to worst. There is zero reason now for Chevrolet to want to run the R07 (their Cup engine) on the Nationwide tour. We were mandated to bring this engine (Cup engine) into Nationwide. We were told ‘This is the menu you have to meet,' not a plus or minus. And our engine is exactly to their specs."
[Editor's Note: Welcome to NASCAR Lee White, oh and be prepared for more cuts in the future.]
07/27/08 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. With Toyota pissed off at NASCAR for the rule change Kyle Busch went out Saturday night and led 197 of 200 laps in his Toyota for a dominating Nationwide Series race win, destroying Chevy, Ford and Dodge in the process.
07/26/08 Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Dave Rogers said Saturday that “somebody has kicked a sleeping dog” with NASCAR’s rule change restricting Toyota’s horsepower in the Nationwide Series.
NASCAR adjusted the size of the four openings in the tapered spacer of Nationwide Camry engines earlier this week, a rule change that many believe is aimed at Rogers’ No. 20 team.
Toyota has won 14 of the 21 races in the Nationwide Series this year, with JGR’s No. 20 winning nine among four drivers.
The change took 15 to 20 horsepower out of Toyota’s engines, sources said, and Rogers said there will be an adjustment period with his cars.
“We’ve got a lot to learn,” Rogers said. “But that’s our goal. Somebody has kicked a sleeping dog. If you look at it, our Cup guys are doing pretty good on Sunday. That’s our big brother. And any time in life you pick on little brother, big brother gets mad.
“Big brother is mad right now. And that’s usually good for us. We’ve just got to be smart and use that anger in a positive way. If we can do that, we can win more races.”
Rogers said the horsepower difference likely won’t be noticed at the short track of O’Reilly Raceway Park this weekend, but said engines haven’t been the reason why his team has been so good this year.
“I’m mad, I’m disappointed,” Rogers said Saturday. “The bottom line is I have a lot of friends that crew chief these other cars, and they all admit they work 7 to 4 during the week. My guys don’t know the outside world exists at 4 o’clock. Most of the time, they don’t know it exists at 6 o’clock. They’re back in the shop, working their guts out.
“This rule change did a couple things. It implied that we were running well because we have an advantage, and that is an insult to all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing who have worked so hard for so long. I feel it puts us at a disadvantage, so I’m extremely disappointed.
“But I’m more motivated than ever. We’re not going to make excuses. You’re not going to see any campaigns from the Toyota camp. We’re going to put our heads down and get back to work and make the best out of what we have.” Scenedaily.com
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